Book 1 (Spoiler alert, there’s only 1 book)
Chapter 118: Sinecure and Expenses
The huge group rushed back to Yan City after a rewarding trip. Due to the fact that they had quite a bountiful harvest, the atmosphere surrounding them was rather jovial. While they were journeying back, Xia Wanjin inquired about Lin Dong’s origins, with a hidden intention of roping him in.
Towards Xia Wanjin’s interest in him, Lin Dong slightly thought about it and did not straightaway reject it. Since he had aided the Thousand Gold Association in defeating the Blood Wolf Gang, given the latter’s style and mannerisms, it was likely that they would hold a grudge against him. Hence, at this juncture, fostering a close relations to one of the other top factions in Yan City, the Thousand Gold Association, was undoubtedly a wise decision.
Thus, he did not hide his origins. After all, with the Thousand Gold Association’s power, they would find out after a little investigation.
“The Lin Family of Qingyang Town?”
After hearing that Lin Dong was from the Lin Family of Qingyang Town, Xia Wanjin did not react much while Xuan Su was a little surprised. Soon after, she covered her mouth and let out a laugh: “The Yang Yuan Stones that were recently sold by the Lin Family were mostly collected by our Thousand Gold Association. I never expected that our young friend Lin Dong was actually from the Lin Family. When we return, I will instruct our people to take note when doing business with the Lin Family in the future.”
“Hehe, then I’ll have to thank Manager Su.” Lin Dong chuckled as he politely clasped his hands together towards her.
“The Lin Family…I’ve recently heard that the Blood Cloth Sect from Yan City has a grudge with you? In addition, in about a month, the leader of the Blood Cloth Sect, Wei Tong, has agreed on a death match with your Lin Family at Yan City’s duel arena?” As if he had suddenly recalled something, Xia Wanjin asked.
Upon hearing this, Xuan Su, Xia Zhilan and the rest were also shocked as their gazes turned towards Lin Dong. Though the Blood Cloth Sect could not compare to their Thousand Gold Association in Yan City, the former were still a reasonably strong faction and Wei Tong was an advanced Yuan Dan Stage expert. Could the Lin Family contend against this level of strength?
“Yes. There is indeed some grievances between us.” In response to their astonishment, Lin Dong merely smiled as he calmly continued: “Furthermore, the one who will have a death match with Wei Tong is me.”
After hearing this declaration, even Xia Wanjin’s eyebrow slightly raised. To one side, Xia Zhilan could not help but remark: “Does a brat like you not want to live anymore? Wei Tong is an advanced Yuan Dan Stage expert, he is nothing compared to the half-baked Jiang Li from today!”
“Yes, Zhilan is correct. A duel to the death in the duel arena is no trifling matter. If need be, I can step in to mediate.” Xuan Su also nodded as she offered.
“I’m afraid that will be difficult. The Blood Cloth Sect is led by the Blood Wolf Gang. Now that Lin Dong has caused them to lose the Celestial Dan Pool, even if our Thousand Gold Association intervenes, it would be very tricky to make the Blood Cloth Sect give up.” Xia Wanjin muttered.
“Hehe, this was originally a matter that others should not interfere with. Still, many thanks to both of you.” Lin Dong slightly smiled as he replied.
“How did you offend the Blood Cloth Sect?” Xia Zhilan could not help but inquire.
“I guess it’s because I killed their deputy head, Gu Ying.” Lin Dong casually said.
When these words were spoken, the surroundings turned quiet. When Lin Dong turned his head, he found that Xia Zhilan and the rest were staring at him in amazement.
“Gu Ying should have been a Second Seal Symbol Master right?” Xuan Su was likewise shocked. Soon after, she regained her wits and somewhat helplessly asked: “Young one, to think that you had actually killed him. No wonder it is not possible to interfere.”
“What a disgusting fellow.” Xia Zhilan mumbled in a low voice. It could be said that a Second Seal Symbol Master was equivalent to an initial Yuan Dan Stage practitioner. Yet such a powerful figure was actually killed by Lin Dong. No wonder Lin Dong did not panic at all when he faced Jiang Li earlier. After all, he was already assured of his victory.
Lin Dong spread out his hands. He knew that he had no choice in that matter. After all, if he did not kill Gu Ying, it would result in even greater troubles in the future. However, now that the deed was done, there was nothing to be regretful about. As for Wei Tong, it was too early to discuss on who would win or lose in the death duel one month later.
“Hehe, our young friend Lin Dong is so bold. Gu Ying is a terrible person, it’s good news that he’s dead.” Xia Wanjin chuckled. Soon after, he changed the topic and asked: “I want to invite our young friend, Lin Dong,
to take on a sinecure position as an officer of
the Thousand Gold Association. Would you be willing?”
Upon hearing Xia Wanjin’s words, Lin Dong was slightly stunned. As he gazed at the former’s smiling expression, it suddenly all clicked together in his head. Xia Wanjin wanted to secretly help their Lin Family by allowing them to establish ties with the Thousand Gold Association. Then in future, the Lin Family would be able to receive some help in Yan City and not worry about retaliation from the Blood Cloth Sect or the Blood Wolf Gang.
“Then I shall thank President Xia for his good will.”
Lin Dong thought about it momentarily, before he clasped his hands together. For the current Lin Family, the Thousand Gold Association was like a huge tree. If it was him alone, he would be fine alone. However, right now, he had to consider the needs of the entire Lin Family too. Thus, he decided to accept this kind of good will.
After witnessing that Lin Dong had accepted, Xia Wanjin let out a hearty laugh. Though the former’s current strength was perhaps unable to move him, Lin Dong’s potential had become very important to Xia Wanjin. Since he had started out as a merchant, he knew extremely well about the benefits of a long term investment. If he let go of this chance, perhaps their Thousand Gold Association would no longer have the qualifications to express any good will to Lin Dong in the future when he has finally displayed his potential…
Upon witnessing this scene, Xuan Su also let out a little laugh. She had always thought rather highly of Lin Dong. Therefore, she was glad to see that the Thousand Gold Association was able to establish ties with him
After returning to Yan City, Lin Dong bid farewell to Xia Wanjin and the rest, before directly returning to the inn that he stayed it, without making any other pit stops.
Right after he reached his room, Lin Dong’s body stumbled. Although he had reaped a bountiful harvest today, it was no walk in the park. Furthermore, towards the end when he was at the bottom of the pool, he had practically given all his Yuan Power to the small marten. What’s more, he had tried to maintain his spirits on the journey back. Now that he could finally relax, it was natural that a feeble sensation started to spread out all over his body.
As he was in this feeble state, Lin Dong did not immediately start studying the Yin Yang Pearl he had just obtained. Instead, he chose to endure the exhaustion and weakness, as he sat down on his bed and slowly entering into a cultivation state.
It was an entire half a day’s time, before Lin Dong once again opened his eyes, only to find that it was already late at night.
After cultivating for half a day, his Dantian which was almost out of Yuan Power had mostly recovered. That feeble sensation had also gradually faded away.
Sensing that he had mostly recovered, Lin Dong retrieved the three ‘Yin Yang Pearls’ he had obtained today at the bottom of the Celestial Dan Pool from his Qiankun Bag.
These three round, black and white pearls floated before Lin Dong. Strong and pure energy undulated and continuously spread out from within, before rippling throughout the room.
Lin Dong had a rather heated gaze as he stared at the three ‘Yin Yang Pearls’. He could sense that even the energy within one of the ‘Yin Yang Pearls’ was more than the combined energy that the four of them had absorbed from the Celestial Dan Pool today.
“This is the true treasure of the Celestial Dan Pool!”
Lin Dong let out a chuckle, fortunately the layout of the bottom of the Celestial Dan Pool was extremely complicated. If not, this kind of treasure would never have been picked up by him. Given Xia Wanjin’s and Yue Shan’s characters, they would definitely have long ago inspected the Celestial Dan Pool. If it were not for the fact that there were countless paths at the bottom of the pool, perhaps the treasure would have long been discovered by the both of them.
Ordinary people only knew that the treasure of the Celestial Dan Pool was the energy within the pool water, yet they would never have expected that the Celestial Dan Pool would also be able to produce a mysterious item like the’ Yin Yang Pearl’.
After being happy for a while, Lin Dong cautiously kept two of the Yin Yang Pearls, while leaving one behind and moving it to the center of his palm before once again closing his eyes. While he activated Qingyuan Art, he also utilised Mental Energy, condensing it into a ‘Qi Transformation Vortex’ above his Dantian.
As Lin Dong started to absorb, the Yin Yang Pearl began to tremble. Next, a shockingly pure energy that looked like a water column of alternating black and white flew out from the Yin Yang Pearl before finally being absorbed by the suction force emitting from Lin Dong’s body!
Under Lin Dong’s frantic absorption, a moist fog of energy seemed to curl around his body.
This kind of absorption was practically several times better than in the Celestial Dan Pool from before.
However, this absorption lasted for only half an hour, before Lin Dong sensed that the Yuan Power Qi ball within his Dantian was already crammed full. Immediately, he stopped his greedy absorption and started operating the Qingyuan Art to condense the Yuan Power Qi ball.
This rate of condensing was not satisfying to Lin Dong , however, he had no alternatives. Qingyuan Art was only a third rate Secret Art and this was already its limit. To increase the speed of absorption and condensing Yuan Power, one had to look at the root of the problem, which was to replace it with a higher tier Secret Art!
Of course, he could only pine for it as he was currently unable to obtain a higher tier Secret Art. Thus, Lin Dong could only bear with it for the moment.
Life was much more peaceful for Lin Dong over the next few days as he spent most of his time immersed in cultivation. With these Yin Yang Pearls, Lin Dong’s Yuan Power cultivation progressed very rapidly. He could sense that he was now edging closer to the boundary separating him from the Yuan Dan Stage. All he needed to do, was to wait for the day when he naturally broke through.
Given his current progress, that day should not be too far off.
While he cultivated his Yuan Power, Lin Dong did not neglect his Mental Energy. After using up a large amount of funds to buy and refine grade five elixirs into elixir pills, his Mental Energy cultivation also made rapid progress. The crack on the Destiny Soul Symbol in his Niwan Palace also became increasingly distinct and seemed to be about to split into two at moment…
However, this trend only lasted till the tenth day before suddenly stopping. This was because Lin Dong awkwardly realised that merely half a month after he arrived at Yan City, he had actually completely spent the one thousand Yang Yuan Pills he had brought. Hence, he no longer possessed the funds to buy any grade five elixirs.
This kind of expenditure would probably cause Lin Zhentian and the rest to be dumbstruck if they found out about it. The entire Lin Family would be unable to afford the cultivation of just him alone.
“I guess it’s time to earn some money…”
As he gazed at his empty Qiankun Bag, Lin Dong could not help but laugh bitterly, as he shook his head.